Comment: Jessica Jones is too mature for gamers

Opening shots

This will be a companion piece to later commentary on the entire series. My piece on Franklyn was to highlight that video games can be a better medium – I don’t think this would be the case with Jessica Jones.

As with Netflix’s first Marvel foray, the acting is top notch. Initial impressions were that it seemed insipid versus Daredevil. Ritter does a cracking job, but it seems to lack the bite of the demon of Hell’s Kitchen. First five minutes were more similar to the relationship furore of the curiously similarly named Alias.

The series seems progressive but as a white, middle class, heterosexual male – maybe I’m not the best person to comment on this. Maybe this is why I didn’t warm to it initially and this could be tied to gendered perception. But, it seems a far more adult piece than more childish super hero fare.

Luke Cage one of my personal champions of the Marvel universe and the first episode well for this for his titular series. The more adult themes and what I assume is an attempt to present the female gaze, the first scene of Jessica Jones getting her rocks off seems a more honest sex scene than I’ve seen outside of art house cinema.

True monsters

Whilst the costuming of a foppish tenth Doctor Who doesn’t terrify me – the Kilgrave character is one of the horrendous within the annals of Marvel. The flashbacks hint of a more in-depth history between the two characters and emulate the fantastic covers of Alias series. More importantly, the flashbacks highlight the nature of truest depiction of a true villain, not world domination, but the violation of women and mental abuse.

Despite such progressive attitudes to the female experience; I can’t help feel that the episode doesn’t completely escape the Sauron-like male-gaze and US-defined typically morally conservative ethos pervasive across all media.

It seems to me that Sapphic-undertones doesn’t celebrate the world of LGBT, more over it pays lip service the experience, and tries to claw back the approval of the male hetero-norm by presenting the pornographic trope of fit woman do fit woman! I don’t doubt that it’s a better than typical outings but lesbian undertones doesn’t make progressive TV. To be fair, it at least attempts to cover the entirety of the human experience. Maybe, this overreaching is its weakness.

Hopefully this piece has highlighted that such a rich, mature experience is a challenge for a ‘TV’. I would love to think that one day main-stream video games would attempt such a story, as they have been explored by indie-games and other media. But for the time being, Jessica Jones is too complex for video games.


Featured image is sourced from panels within Marvel’s Alias series. Used without permission, please contact squareblind (at) email (dot) com if you are the copyright holder and wish this image to be removed.


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